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Merriment in March.
The wooden bird on horseback showing,
By beat of drum with pipers blowing,
They troop along Luzzaing, tooting,

To hold their annual game of shooting. This is a French sport, which, according print is carried on a pole by the man on to a print from whence the present re- horseback, attended by those who are about presentation was taken, is peculiar to the to partake of the sport, and preceded by month of March. The inscription on the music. It seems to be a rustic amuseengraving just mentioned, is

ment, and, perhaps, some light may be MARS.

thrown on it by the following account from

Miss Plumtre's “ Residence in France." Les Triomphes d'un Conquérant She says, that in connection with the Font voir plus de magnificence : church of St. John, at Aix, which formerMais au défaut de l'opulence,

ly belonged to the knights of St. John of Ceux cy ne coutent point de Sang. Jerusalem, there is a ceremony which

used to be called Le Bravade de St. Jean The " Papeguay,”. Papegai, or Pape- d'Aix, instituted in the year 1272, on the gaut, is “ a wooden bird to shoot at, a return of the army which had followed shaw fowl."* This wooden bird in the Louis IX. or St. Louis, in his last # Chambaud.

expedition to Egypt and the Holy-land. VOL. II.62.


According to Miss Plumptre, it was held

Anecdotes of on the eve of St. John the Baptist. A

BROWNE WILLIS, large bird of any kind was tethered in a

The Antiquarian. field without the town, so that it could fly only to a certain height, and the youth To the portrait of this eminent antiof the place, those only of the second quary at p. 194, is annexed the day of order of nobles, took aim at him with his birth, in 1682, and the day whereon their bows and arrows in presence of all he died, in 1760. That engraving of him the nobility, gentry, and magistracy. He is after an etching made “ in 1781, at the who killed the bird was king of the arch- particular request of the Rev. William ers for the year ensuing, and the two who Cole, from a drawing made by the Rev. had gone the nearest after him were ap- Michael Tyson, from an original painting pointed his lieutenant and standard. by Dahl.” Mr. Cole, in a letter to Mr. bearer; he also nominated several other Steevens, speaks of the etching thus: "The officers from among the competitors. The copy pleases me infinitely; nothing can company then returned into the town, the be more exact and like the copy I sent, judges of the contest marching first, fol- and which, as well as I can recollect, is lowed by the victors : bonfires were made equally so to the original. Notwithstandin several parts, round which the people ing the distance of time when Dahl drew danced, while the king and his officers his ortrait and that in which I knew him, went from one to the other till they had and the strange metamorphose that age danced by turns at them all.

The same

and caprice had made in his figure, yet I diversions were repeated the following could easily trace some lines and traits of day; and both evenings the king, at the what Mr. Dahl had given of him.” Agreeconclusion of them, was attended home by ably to the promise already given, some his officers and a concourse of people, particulars remain to be added concerning among whom he distributed largesses to a the distinguished individual it represents. considerable amount.

At the first institution of this ceremony, the intention of which was to incite the Browne Willis was grandson of Dr. young men to render theinselves expert Thomas Willis, the most celebrated phymarksmen, the king enjoyed very exten- sician of his time, and the eldest son of sive privileges during the year ; but in Thomas Willis, esq., of Bletchley, in the latter times they had been reduced to those county of Bucks. When at Westminster of wearing a large silver medal which was school, “the neighbouring abbey drew his presented to him at his accession, of en- admiration : here he loved to walk and joying the right of shooting wherever he contemplate. The solemnity of the buildchose, of partaking in the grand mass ing, the antique appearance, the monucelebrated by the order of Malta at their ments, filled his whole mind. He dechurch on the festival of St. John, and of lighted himself in reading old inscriptions. being exempted from lodging soldiers, Here he first imbibed the love of antiquiand paying what was called Le droit de ties, and the impression grew indelible.” piquet, a tax upon all the flour brought At seventeen he was admitted a gentleman into the town. After the invention of the commoner of Christ Church college; in arquebuse, instead of shooting at a live 1705 he represented the town of Buckingbird with arrows, they fired at a wooden ham in parliament, where he constantly bird upon a pole, and he who could bring attended, and often sat on committees; in it down was appointed king: any one 1707 he married ; in 1718 he became an who brought it down two years together active member of the society of antiquawas declared emperor, and in that quality ries; in 1720 the university of Oxford exempted for life from all municipal taxes. conferred on him the degree of M. A. by This ceremony continued till the revolu- diploma; and in 1740 he received from tion.

it the degree of LL.D. On the 11th of It appears from hence that this custom February, 1760, he was buried in Fenny of shooting at a wooden bird on St. John's Stratford chapel, an edifice which, though éve is very similar to that which the en- he founded it himself, he was accustomed graving represents, as the merriment of the to attribute to the munificence of others, Papeguay, or wooden bird, belonging to “ who were in reality only contributors.” the month of March

Of his numerous antiquarian works the principal are “ Notitia Parliamentaria, or an History of the Counties, Cities, and otner matters of antiquity which are not Boroughs in England and Wales,” 3 vols. apt to form a polite style, yet he expressed 8vo. « Mitred Abbies, &c." 2 vols. 8vo. himself, in all his compositions, in an « Cathedrals of England,” 3 vols. 4to. easy and genteel manner. He was, inand 4 vols. 8vo. He attained a most ex. deed, one of the first who placed our tensive erudition in the topographical, ecclesiastical history and antiquities upon architectural, and numismatic remains of a firm basis, by grounding them upon reEngland by devoting his life to their study, cords and registers; which, in the main, which he pursued with urrabated ardour, are unexceptionable authorities. During üncheered by the common hope of deriving the course of his long life, he had visited even a sufficiency from his various publi- every cathedral in England and Wales, cations to defray their expenses. In a except Carlisle ; which journeys he used letter to his friend Dr. Ducarel, when he to call his pilgrimages. In his friendships was seventy-four years of age, he says, “I none more sincere and hearty; always am 1001. out of pocket by what I have communicative, and ever ready to assist printed; except my octavo of Parliaments, every studious and inquisitive person: which brought me 151. profit, though I this occasioned an acquaintance and congave it all away, and above 201. more to nection between him and all his learned build Buckingham tower steeple; and contemporaries. For his mother, the now, as I hoped for subscription to this university of Oxford, he always expressed book, (his last work, the History of the the most awful respect and the warmest Town and Hundred of Buckingham) am esteem. As to his piety and moral qualilike to have half the impression on my fications, he was strictly religious, without hands. Sold only 69 copies, of which to any mixture of superstition or enthusiasm, gentlemen of Buckinghamshire, only 28.” and quite exemplary in this respect : and În the same year, 1756, he writes to one of this, his many public works, in buildof his daughters, “I have worked for ing, repairing, and beautifying of churches, nothing ; nay, except in one book, have are so many standing evidences. He was been out of pocket, and at great expense charitable to the poor and needy; just and in what I printed." He considerably im- upright towards all men,

In a word, no paired his fortune by the scrupulosity and one ever deserved better of the society of magnitude of his researches and collec- antiquaries; if industry and an incessant tions, which he persevered in till he grew application, throughout a long life, to the so weak and infirm that he had not investigating the antiquities of this nastrength to reach down and turn over his tional church and state, is deserving of books, or draw up particulars with his own their countenance.” hands. Yet even then, in his seventyeighth year, he amused himself by inquiries concerning “ Bells," and obtained The editor of the Every-Day Book returns of the contents of belfries in nearly possesses an unprinted letter written by six hundred parishes of the county of Lin- Dr. Willis to the learned bishop Tanner, coln, which he entered in the “ Parochiale when chancellor of Norwich.

A copy of Anglicanum."

this letter is subjoined, together with a fac-simile of its date and the place from

whence it was addressed, in Dr. Willis's An account of Dr. Willis was read to hand-writing, and a further fac-siraile of the society of antiquaries, by his friend his autograph at the conclusion. The Dr. Ducarel, who sums up his character epistle is written on a proof impression of in these words :-" This learned society, “The Ichnography of Platform of the of which he was one of the first revivers, Cathedral Church of Christ Church in and one of the most industrious members, Oxford,” one of the plates in Dr. Willis's can bear me witness that he was indefati. “ Cathedrals,” relative to which, as well gable in his researcnes; for his works as other works, he sought information were of the most laborious kind. But from his distinguished brother antiquary what enabled him, besides his unwearied This letter is a good specimen of Dr. diligence, to bring them to perfection, Willis's epistolary style of communicawas, his being blessed with a most excel- tion, and of that minuteness of investi. lent memory.

He had laid so good a gation which is indispensable to antiqua. foundation of learning, that, though he rian labours : it likewise testifies his had chiefly conversed with records, and solicitude for the education of his eldest


March 23


son “ Tom," who died four years before am teized sadly about Bishop Lloyd of himself, and expresses a natural desire Norwich's great Seal, and the circumscripthat Dr. Tanner would visit his ecclesi- tion round it, and have had 2 letters this astical foundation at Fenny Stratford. week on that account: what my importuCopy.

nate correspondent wants is, the circle of Το

writing round the Episcopal Seal in The Rev. Dr. Tanner

which he wrote his name Gulielimus : I Chancellor of Norwich

am ashamed to repeat this Impertinence to which I pray a quick answer, especialy

as to another subject of the greatest conNorwich

sequence of all, which is about placing my whaddom. Hall

Eldest Son at Christ-church, where I design to make him a commoner, for he must study hard—I am to consult about a Tutor, and would gladly have one you have a confidence in; there are recom

mended Mr. Allen, Mr. Bateman, and Dear Mr. Chancellor,

Mr. Ward ; now if you can answer for I am honoured with yours just now ever an one of these, and that he will, on received, and though weary with a jour. your friendshipp or the Dean's, have a ney being come home to night after 3 more particular eye to Tom, whom I dont days absence, and lying out of my Bed design to continue above 2 or 3 years at which I have not done since Sir Thomas most, I shall be very thankfull for your Lee's Election in January, yet I cannot recommendation. And so pray dear Mr. omitt paying my duty to you and thank- Chancellor write soon and advise mee, ing you for the favour and satisfaction but I hope your affairs will call you to yours gave mee, I have printed above 20 Oxford, and that you will take mee in Prebendal Stalls of Lincoln but it does your way and see Stratford chapell, which not goe on so fast as I would have it, is very near, and your ever obliged and else I should soon come to Ely, but Í devoted Servant in all things, doubt I shall stay a long time for the draughts, wherefore I pray when you

B Wille write to Dr. Knight press his getting them done out of hand--I have here one of Christ-church which I write upon that

Browne Willis's letter is franked by you may give your opinion—I shall be Dr. Richard Willis, bishop of Winchesvery glad you approve it, wee cannot ter, who was translated to that see from well put in more references. As to the the bishopric of Salisbury, in 1723. A Prebendarys of Lincoln, since I have fac-simile of his autograph, on this occawrote 5 or 6 letters to the Bishop without sion, is annexed. an answer, I am obliged to be contented. I should be glad of Thomas Davies's Epitaph from Bexwell. He was vicar of Siston co: Leicester and A.M. as my Account says. I have only 4 or 5 to enquire after that I shall be so eager to find, viz. Joshua Clark (Prebendary) of Cester, who died 1712. I have wrote to his 2 successors and cannot hear one word: The others I want are John Davenport, Mr. The character of Dr. Willis, by Dr. Davies's predecessor in Sutton Prebend, Ducarel, records his “ pilgrimages” to and Henry Morland or Merland who every cathedral in England and Wales, died about 1704 ; but I would more par- except Carlisle.". The antiquity, and the ticularly enquire after Thomas Stanhope, purposes of religious buildings, were obwho, about 1668, was installed into the jects of his utmost veneration; and he Prebend of Sutton cum Buckingham-I had the remarkable propensity of visiting shall be thankfull for any Information of churches on the festival-day of the saint him, as I am of all opportunitys of hear- to whom they were dedicated. In Fenny ing from you, and design to lay by your Stratford chapel he placed the following papers of Ely to send you again : but I lines, “ to the memory of Thomas Willis,

Frank 2 Winchester

M.D.,” his grandfather, through whom he derived his patrimonial estates :

In honour to thy mem'ry, blessed Shade!
Was the foundation of this chapel laid.
Purchas'd by thee, thy son, and present heir,
Owes these three manors to thy sacred care.
For this, may all thy race thanks ever pay,
And yearly celebrate St. Martin's day!

B. W. A letter he wrote within three months was dedicated.” · Further on, Miss Talbefore his death particularizes his regard bot adds, relative to Dr. Willis on St. of festival-days.

George's day, “To honour last Sunday Mr. Nichols transcribes a letter which as it deserved, after having run about all he wrote very late in life, dated Nov. the moruing to all the St. George's 13, 1759: “Good Mr. (wen, This churches, whose difference of hours percomes to thank you for your favour at mitted him, he came to dine with us in a Oxford at St. Frideswide's festival; and tie-wig, that exceeds indeed all descripas your Bodleian visitation is over, I tion. 'Tis a tie-wig (the very colour of hope you are a little at liberty to come it is inexpressible) that he has had, he and see your friends; and as you was says, these nine years; and of late it has pleased to mention you would once more lain by at his barber's, never to be put on make me happy with your good com- but once a year, in honour of the Bishop pany, I wish it might be next week, at of Gloucester's (Benson) birth-day.”. our St. Martin's anniversary at Fenny Stratford, which is Thursday se'nnight, the 22d instant, when a sermon will be preached by the minister of Buckingham:

These peculiarities of Dr. Willis are the last I am ever like to attend, so very

in Mr. Nichols's “ Literary Anecdotes," infirm as I am now got; so that I stir from which abundant depository of facts, very little out of the house, and it will the particulars hereafter related are like therefore be charity to have friends come

wise extracted, with a view to the informand visit me."

ation of general readers. On the same Mr. Gough’s manuscripts relate of Dr. ground, that gentleman's collection is Willis, that “ he told Mr. S. Bush he mentioned; for—it is not to be presumed was going to Bristol on St. Austin's-day that any, real inquirer into the Literary to see the cathedral, it being the dedica- History" of the last or the preceding cention day.It is added, that “ he would tury, can be ignorant, that Mr. Nichols's lodge in no house at Bath but the Abbey. invaluable work is an indispensable house: he said, when he was told that assistant to every diligent investigator. Wells cathedral was 800 years old, there it is certainly the fullest, and is probably was not a stone of it left 500 years ago.”

the most accurate, source that can be conMiss Talbot, “in an unprinted letter sulted for biographical facts during that to a lady of first-rate quality," dated period, and is therefore quoted by name, from the rectory house of St. James's

as all authors ought to be by every writer parish, (Westminster,) January 2, 1739,

or editor who is influenced by grateful humorously describes him and says, “As feelings towards his authorities, and honest by his little knowledge of the world, he motives towards the public. has ruined a fine estate, that was, when he first had it, worth 2000l. per annum, his present circumstances oblige him to

Dr. Willis was whimsically satirized an odd-headed kind of frugality, that in the following verses by Dr. Darrell of shows itself in the slovenliness of his

Lillington Darrell. dress, and makes him think London much too extravagant an abode for his daughters; at the same time that his zeal

To the Tune of Chcvy-Chace. for antiquities makes him think an old copper farthing very cheaply bought for a whilome there dwelt near Buckingham, guinea, and any journey properly under

That famous county town, taken that will bring him to some old At a known place, hight whaddon Chace, cathedral on the saint's day to which it. A 'squire of odd renown.


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